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  1. #1
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    2013 Chicago Bears Secret Superstar

    With a meager 420 career snaps to his name, Bears’ defensive tackle Nate Collins is the definition of a secret superstar. An All-ACC defensive lineman as a senior, Collins went undrafted out of Virginia in 2010. He initially signed with the Giants and was released before he even got to play a snap. The Jaguars signed him and in 2011 he appeared in 12 games, but played just 173 snaps.

    Unfortunately for many teams (and fortunately for others) Collins’ story is not uncommon in the NFL. Many players have bounced around, released by teams who either don’t see the talent or find the player doesn’t fit in the scheme. The Bears are sure glad they found him though, as his +4.9 grade this season made him one of the most impressive backups in the NFL. Due to his elite production at times and his overlooked status (even by his own coaching staff at times) Collins is the undisputed pick as the Bears’ Secret Superstar.

    Coming Out Party

    It took Collins eight weeks to see the field, but he wasted no time once he got there. On his very first snap of the season he picked up a +1.5 graded pressure as he was in quarterback Cam Newton’s face before he could even plant on his seven-step drop. The move he used was a simple club-swim combination that allowed him a free run past Panther left guard Amini Silatolu. Later in the game Collins would use the exact same move to pick up a second pressure, this time on right guard Jeff Byers.

    The running game, however, is where Collins really made his presence felt, even if it was against the Panthers. He graded positively on seven running plays and negatively on just one. His main targets that game, center Geoff Hangartner and guard Silatolu, were some of the worst interior lineman in the NFL last season, but Collins still made quick work of them and was utterly dominant all game. He showed great lower body strength and was able to consistently push linemen into the offense’s backfield. At the end of the day, his final grade was +5.4 in just 35 snaps. Only 13 other defensive tackles had a game with a grade of +5.0 or higher in 2012, and no one did it in as few snaps.

    Coming Back to Earth

    Collins would grade slightly positively the next two weeks against Tennessee and Houston. Then he would come up against the vaunted interior O-Line of San Francisco, where he began to show some holes in his game. Against the Panthers, Collins relied on his strength to affect the running game. He did not have that same strength advantage against the 49ers and it exposed one of his biggest weaknesses, his inability to disengage from blocks. On multiple occasions Collins would get locked in with a blocker and then be unable to shed him as the ballcarrier scampered past. He finished the game with a grade of -3.2 on 26 snaps for his worst grade of the season.

    The rest of the season Collins was solid in his backup duty. Over the last six games his overall grade was +2.2, but he never really saw his playing time increase. Over that same period he averaged only 24 snaps a game before being a healthy scratch in Week 17. It should be a little concerning moving forward that despite his solid play, his snap counts decreased toward the end of the season (20 snaps total in Weeks 15-17).

    Future Starter?

    Phil Emery liked enough of what he saw in Collins to re-sign him this offseason. The Bears may not have had any competition for his services, however. He did come back for the fourth-year league minimum of $715k. For a more than serviceable backup with starter ability, the Bears got a steal.

    Looking at the Bears’ current roster it isn’t too crazy to think that Collins could be elevated to a starter at some point in 2013, or at least see a major uptick in snaps. The departures of Israel Idonije and Amobi Okoye make it mainly a competition between Collins and Stephen Paea for the spot opposite Henry Melton. Even though Paea was a second-round pick, he hasn’t produced at a high level. Collins outdid Paea in both Pass Rushing Productivity (6.5 – 5.0) and Run Stop Percentage (5.7 – 5.1) last season. We won’t try to predict who is going to come out on top, but we are excited to see how Collins produces next year in a hopefully expanded role.
    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...-nate-collins/

    I meant to post this when I saw it but I've been way too busy. Anyways, on to the real point of the thread:

    Who do you think will be the 2013 secret superstar for the Bears?

    I posted the article from PFF on Nate Collins (who they chose as the Bears' 2012 secret superstar) as a guide for those of you who haven't seen this section on PFF. So, don't choose Brandon Marshall, or Briggs, etc.

  2. #2
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    I can't believe I'm going to do this, but I'll go with J'Marcus Webb. As hard as it is to believe, he wasn't awful down the stretch last season. From Week 10 on, he only posted one poor overall grade (the SF debacle) and actually graded out positively as a pass blocker (with the SF debacle again as the blemish). He is moving over to the right side and I think he can play well there. He showed enough improvement in his technique at the end of the season that he may actually be better than replacement level at RT.

  3. #3
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    Joe Anderson. He reminds me of Marcus Robinson in terms of talent and Jimmy Smith style wise. I can see him really breakout in the offense trestman may run.
    Is this A) Teo's catfish perp, B) common sign of mono C) Harvard student D) the family 530 wake-up call?

  4. #4
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    Maybe this is why Emery didn't set a lower limit on what to pay Izzy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CubbyBlue2009 View Post
    Maybe this is why Emery didn't set a lower limit on what to pay Izzy.
    I think it has more to do with snaps for McClellin. With the way Shea played last season, he is probably the 4th DE if Izzy comes back. Emery has to get his very first 1st Rd pick on the field.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImGoinToJackson View Post
    Joe Anderson. He reminds me of Marcus Robinson in terms of talent and Jimmy Smith style wise. I can see him really breakout in the offense trestman may run.
    I thought about going with Marquess Wilson as the 4th WR and 1st backup to BMarsh. But, rookie WRs tend to struggle a ton with the adjustment to the NFL game.

  7. #7
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    I'm going to go with Major Wright, Webb was my first thought but he was already taken so I went with option "B". Wright has seemed to come into his own, when healthy these past two seasons he seems to be capable of making an impact on the field. Him and Conte could become one of the better safety combo's in the league if we continue to see the improvement we have been seeing.
    Last edited by BcEuAbRsS; 06-15-2013 at 02:56 PM.
    Mike...
    ... when talking Notre Dame football

  8. #8
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    I think Conte and Wright are solid but nothing more, really. They fit the scheme well but I'd like to see a true ball hawk back there. We haven't had a ball hawking safety since Mike Brown. I like Conte and he's certainly not a 'problem' but I think we can do better. It's just not a major priority right now. In a perfect world, Hardin really comes on this season, earns the starting job, and Conte becomes the new Craig Steltz.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCB mwat15 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CubbyBlue2009 View Post
    Maybe this is why Emery didn't set a lower limit on what to pay Izzy.
    I think it has more to do with snaps for McClellin. With the way Shea played last season, he is probably the 4th DE if Izzy comes back. Emery has to get his very first 1st Rd pick on the field.
    That's true.

  10. #10
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    I'm going with Alshon Jeffery. I really think he's a star in the making. I don't know about this year but him and Marshall are going to be one of the better tandems in the league.

  11. #11
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    Webb and Greene

  12. #12
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    Devin Aromashadu. Enough said.
    No ideas for the moment.

  13. #13
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    I'm hoping Corey Wootton & Alshon Jeffery both have breakout seasons.

  14. #14
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    Paea, unless he lives up to his bust status.

  15. #15
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    Lol @ the Tweetard love....look, he wasn't the worse LT in the league last season & he improved since being a 7th round starting rookie. Hand the man a taco...good job. In no way do I EVER want him protecting JC's blindside again. **** that ****!!

    As to the "superstar" question, Joey Anderson would be my choice with Alshawn Geoffries having a heck of a career in Chicago...

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